Putin ordered cyber attack scheme to—no, not “to”—but that helped Trump beat Hillary, reported the New York Times. The chiefs of America’s intelligence agencies—CIA, FBI and NSA—went to his Tower to convey that intelligence to Trump.
After leaving Trump, the intelligence chiefs released a declassified version of the damning report that described the Russian cyber campaign “as part of a continuing Russian effort to weaken the U.S. government and its democratic institutions,” said the Times. Not only would Putin defeat his personal enemy Hillary but Trump would be a suspect president if the cyber attack was exposed. This is a Russian backhanded tribute to American democracy as an essential component or the essence of American power. Undermine democracy you undermine America—unlike some native idiots here that believe democracy weakens governments and countries. There is no accounting for native stupidity.
The long original report included information about how the U.S. bugged Putin and his men to learn about how they planned the cyber attack on American elections. But the New York Times jumped without looking to the conclusion that the intelligence chiefs “were undermining the legitimacy of the president soon to direct them.” They did no such thing. The chiefs just stated the fact that Russia cyber-trashed Hillary in the campaign. And turned key democratic states against her. By paper-thin margins, to be sure; but enough for Trump to claim their electoral votes. She got a a margin of 3 million popular votes over Trump.
The Russian proclivity for cyber attacks is conventional wisdom. The Georgia, the Baltic states and Ukraine cases show it. Putin came to power to repossess the fragments of the Soviet empire, which shattered from internal contradictions—as George Kennan, the author of containment predicted. This ended the cold war with a weakened Russia.
Trump responded to the report by saying China did it also, hacking the U.S. government; once the Office of Personnel Management. Well, as they used to say in California during the Gold Rush when Chinese laid the rails and panned for gold, “Two Wongs don’t make a white”—and won’t whitewash of the Russian cyber attack.
After the meeting Trump toned down his criticism of U.S. intelligence. He admitted such things happen and committed not to let them happen again—since he is already president.
To be sure, the Russian plan of cyber attack on the U.S. elections was in the works even before Trump was nominated. The aim was not to elect Trump but defeat Hillary at all costs. And if she still won, to so cripple her presidency by leaks as to make her a weak opponent of Putin’s ambition.
This cannot happen here. Thanks to our lousy Internet, a cyber attack on a political campaign won’t get much if any traction. And Philippine social media is so resolutely trivial that it will have no effect on a campaign. It never has and never will, not with the exposé of trolling on both sides. I love our country. Even our shortcomings have redeeming qualities.
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.